Stockholm: Sweden has abolished a 100-year
tradition of compulsory military service for men during
peacetime but will continue to take volunteers.
A new policy means that compulsory military service will
only apply if the Nordic nation of 9 million feels threatened.
It went into force today after lawmakers approved the change
in a 2009 vote.
Compulsory service of between 80 and 450 days for all
18-year-old Swedish men was adopted in 1901. Women have been
accepted as voluntary conscripts since 1989.
The number of conscripts has dwindled in recent decades
as those due for service have been granted dispensations. The
military says there are currently some 1,700 active